After receiving some disturbing news yesterday, I've been running a lot of numbers through my head in the past 24 hours and they're all adding up...much higher than I care to really think about.
4 co-workers who have each faced cancer battles within their families over the past 2 years. 3 lost their fight and as of last week, the remaining family member is searching for a reason to keep fighting.
1 babysitter, diagnosed with a tumor in the base of her skull. Treated, fought and won.
1 Aunt, who passed away from breast cancer back when I was very little. I still remember her wake being one of the first ones that I had ever attended. I had a cold that day that left me with a constant nagging cough. I distinctly remember sitting in the funeral parlor that evening while the rosary was being said and being so afraid that if I coughed I would once again be reminded to be quiet in that setting. It left me to the point where a blubbering noise would erupt when I could no longer restrain the urge. Yes, I admit that was a strange child.
1 Aunt and sister-in-law of very close family members diagnosed with cancer. Fought and won.
1 sister, diagnosed with cervical cancer about 5 years ago. Treated, fought and won.
1 Grandmother, passed away at a ripe old age, but not before being advised that her body was consumed with cancer throughout. Because of her age, no battle was fought.
1 Grandmother, cancerous tumor in her intestines. Surgery to remove the tumor as well as a part of her intestines, fought and won.
1 Father-in-law, diagnosed with a fast growing brain tumor a little over 1 year ago. Surgery performed immediately to remove as much as possible. Treatments began and with it so did the complications. He passed away on Feb 6, 2007.
1 Mother, goes for annual mammograms and each year we hold our breaths as they find significant lumps and run additional tests. Every year she dodges another bullet.
1 Sister-in-law, stood by her Mother when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Treated, fought and won. She also made it through a cancer scare with a mis-diagnosis on her Father.
These are just the people that I've watched go through this battle...there are so many more out there. Too many to count. Family members of friends who lost their battle with cancer before I ever knew them.
This year, my husband and kids, along with my Mother-in-law and a few other family members will be participating in the Relay for Life at Quinnipiac University. This year, we'll be remembering my Father-in-law and so many others who have been affected by this awful disease. This year, I'll be saying a prayer that the numbers on my list above do not go any higher.
But for today, tomorrow and the next, I'll be thinking of and saying prayers for my brother as we wait for test results, hoping for the best and preparing ourselves for worse. I don't feel like that preparation will really be enough... So I'll just keep thinking positive until then.